Who's Hot & Not ... Week
Who's Hot ... Week 12
10. The East Carolina D
The Pirates have reached a level of futility on
defense that’s staggering by anyone’s standards.
Yeah, there was some rebuilding to be done in
Greenville, but this has become the theater of the
absurd. After being trashed for 62 points and more
than 600 yards by 2-8 Rice, East Carolina has now
yielded 229 points over the last four games. It’s a
good thing this program can score points and wrapped
up bowl eligibility a few weeks back.
In a matter of a couple of weeks, the Cougars have gone from a Conference USA West Division favorite to likely being out of the bowl discussion entirely. After falling to Southern Miss, 59-41, Houston has lost three straight to drop below .500. Winning a sixth game will require beating Texas Tech in Lubbock, which doesn’t appear likely to happen.
Next stop, rock bottom. The Scarlet Knights have been an abomination for the better part of the year, losing their last four to be in serious danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2004. In Cincinnati on Saturday night, Rutgers got bounced, 69-38, by a team that entered the game with an equal amount of problems. The Knights may have peaked under Greg Schiano, who hasn’t raised the bar in Piscataway in years.
7. The North Carolina O-Line
The underlying reason that the Tar Heels have lost their last two games is the that offensive line simply hasn’t blocked for QB T.J. Yates. The senior has had a terrific final season in Chapel Hill, but too often is dodging defenders, and has been sacked repeatedly over the last month. Hey, no excuses, guys. It’s not as if this unit was impacted by suspensions the way the defense was in the early going.
6. Kansas State
Didn’t you used to be ranked? Considering they’ve been playing, the Wildcats should consider themselves fortunate to be bowl eligible at this point of the year. They’ve gone 2-5 since getting off to a fast start, and in recent losses to Missouri and Colorado, the Kansas State defense barely bothered to show up. It’s a good thing the program can tune up for the postseason with this week’s trip to Denton to face 3-8 North Texas.
5. The UCLA Offense
Washington State now laughs at UCLA. Owners of the Pac-10’s worst passing game and least effective attack, the Bruins managed just 10 first downs and went 6-of-25 for 55 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions against Washington. Yup, that’s the same Husky squad that entered Thursday’s game ranked 109th nationally in scoring defense and 110th in total D. There ought to be no more excuses for Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow, who’ve done an awful job with this side of the ball.
Yeah, it’s been a rough year for Danny Hope and the Boilermakers, who’ve been riddled with injuries, but Saturday was an opportune time to snap an ugly four-game losing streak and remain in the hunt for bowl eligibility. Instead, Purdue collapsed down the stretch in East Lansing, blowing a 28-13 fourth quarter lead through a series of offensive, defensive, and special teams gaffes. While the program has shown a lot of resiliency this fall, this past weekend, it flat out choked against a more disciplined opponent.
3. The Ole Miss D
Hey, you know you’re real bad when you let LSU move the ball on you. The Rebels have been a sieve throughout the season, struggling to defend the pass and displaying poor tackling skills at every turn. After repeatedly blowing leads in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Ole Miss has now yielded 186 points in its last four SEC games.
2. USC in Corvallis
Reser Stadium has become a house of horrors for the Trojans, which have now lost their last three games in Corvallis. Worse than simply losing a game, USC was abysmal this time around, getting spanked by the Beavers, 36-7. The defense reverted back to its early season form, and the offense was a rare no-show, even before QB Matt Barkley injured his ankle and left the game on crutches.
1. The Iowa Offense
At the crux of the Hawkeyes’ recent problems, the offense has produced an average of only 17 points over the last three games, which includes a pair of losses to Northwestern and Ohio State. Once a fringe Heisman contender, QB Ricky Stanzi has hit the wall as the ringleader of an attack that just hasn’t been able to deliver on a consistent basis in November.
Who's Hot ... Week 12